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Meanwhile in Scotland...

(29 Posts)
Jane10 Sat 09-Apr-16 17:03:45

Just heard that 19 schools in Edinburgh will be closed indefinitely due to structural issues related to their construction. This includes High Schools. Poor pupils nearing exam time and poor working parents having to organise care for their children.

In other news Sturgeon has been forced to admit that she's signed a 'memorandum of understanding' with Chinese companies related to 3 large projects £10 billion mentioned. Not mentioned was that Norway has just cut ties with that Chinese company due to its human rights record. All this only came to light from Chinese newspapers. Not like Sturgeon to miss a media opportunity! Deeply suspicious.
Its all going on up here!

rosesarered Sat 09-Apr-16 19:20:13

19 schools?!!! That's a helluva lot.
So the big fish has an understanding [haha] with Chinese companies., hmmmn.Perhaps she should be using British steel? It's not as likely to buckle.

Granny23 Sat 09-Apr-16 20:45:55

You cannot lay the blame for the collapsing schools at Nicola's door as they were commissioned and built by Labour controlled Edinburgh City Council under PFI long before Nicola became first minister. There has been controversy over the award of the contracts ever since with suspicions of dirty dealings to secure them. The anger is directed at the contractors who built them for their shoddy workmanship and the amount of money paid annually by the city council to rent the buildings which they will never own.

I tend not to rely on news from the BBC or major Newspapers and I was certainly aware of Nicola's trade trip to China before she went. Not her fault if the MSM did not cover it until afterwards, when they had added their own SNP BAD slant. This is not unusual - how many of you have been aware of the sterling work done by the Scottish Government (especially Fergus Ewing) in rescuing the remnants of the steel industry in Scotland? or the deal they facilitated last year to save the last privately owned shipyard.

The use of Chinese Steel in the construction of the new Queensferry Crossing has already been done to death in the media in spite of the simple explanation that no steel plant in the UK is capable of producing steel of the required strength. Never a mention of the fact that said bridge is nearly finished - on time and under budget or that it has been funded entirely from the Scottish Governments budget with no input from the Westminster Government, unlike HSR, London Sewers etc. funded by taxpayers from across the UK.

rosesarered Sat 09-Apr-16 21:32:16

So steel from Port Talbot is inferior to that made in China?Surely we can produce better quality steel, this all seems a bit unlikely.

Tizliz Sat 09-Apr-16 21:42:55

I understood that NO British companies tended (is that the correct word?) for the steel for the new bridge so they had to go to China.

Jane10 Sat 09-Apr-16 22:04:49

Secret deals with dodgy Chinese companies are always suspicious.

Granny23 Sat 09-Apr-16 22:32:15

Not inferior at all, Roses just the wrong type of steel. When we lost most of our heavy industries (and whose fault was that?) the remaining plants concentrated on high end specialist steels. As Tizliz says there were no British Companies able to tender for the bridge contract because none of them had furnaces capable of producing the required heavy steel in large quantities.

Jane10 How can you call a thing secret when many people, including myself, who take an interest, were well aware of Nicola's trade mission and the outcome thereof?

Granny23 Sat 09-Apr-16 22:35:18

I take no interest at all in football and therefore never check the results of matches. This does not mean that the results are 'secret' just not reported on the TV that I watch or in the papers that I read.

rosesarered Sat 09-Apr-16 22:40:23

This steel matter is all very confusing, but you have obviously done your homework on this matter G23 let us hope that the Chinese steel is of good quality and will not be a problem in time to come.

Granny23 Sat 09-Apr-16 22:52:50

Didn't need to do a lot of research Roses it was all explained by the SG at the time. It only became confusing later when the Labour Party started attacking the SG for using Chinese steel. Either they had not checked out the facts or they were being deliberately obtuse.

This link is to the official press release as to the results of the Trade Mission to China in July 2015

news.scotland.gov.uk/News/50-Scottish-businesses-received-support-on-China-trade-mission-1ba2.aspx

Jane10 Sun 10-Apr-16 07:20:39

So why the secrecy? Not like the SNP to avoid the limelight? Its clearly a very sore point for them hence the defensive responses. Why didn't they know what the Norwegians obviously did?

Anya Sun 10-Apr-16 07:38:21

Thanks for your factual input Granny23

I too was wondering why we were importing 'cheap' Chinese steel and this explains a lot.

scotty Sun 10-Apr-16 09:21:39

Well done Granny23. I would say the debate is closed. You have supplied a detailed answer to the doubting Thomases out there.

meandashy Sun 10-Apr-16 09:44:44

These school closures started with my granddaughters school when the gable end blew down during a storm in January. Thankfully it happened overnight & no one was hurt. It has been a complete farce since! We were told the school was safe and the kids returned after a few days. Then before the Easter break it was deemed unsafe & the work began. On Thursday we had word it would be open from Monday. Then Friday at 6.30pm another message to say actually they've found more issues and it's definitely NOT SAFE! There are now serious doubts about all the ppp1 schools built hence the other closures. I don't have an exact figure but thousands of kids are left without a safe school in which to get an education! There are no contingency plans in place for all these kids. Who passed these schools in the first instance as safe when the outer walls were not tied!! Somebody must have taken a huge back hander and heads should roll. It isn't helped by the council refusing to meet parents and carers to answer questions. We are being treated like mushrooms 😠

Anniebach Sun 10-Apr-16 09:53:28

Last week Cameron issued a statement saying he wants new hospitals, schools etc to use British steel

Jane10 Sun 10-Apr-16 09:54:25

Sorry Anya the story is not closed. Deflecting the story of Sturgeons deal with the Chinese to one about the new Forth Bridge doesn't cover the issue.
I gather that the proposed projects for the Chinese deal include a housing development, a biomass plant and an unspecified rail project. The Scottish govt are under pressure to release minutes of the meeting. I would direct people to yesterday's 'Scotsman' for fuller details. These projects are according to Sir Richard Heygate ,UK rep of the Chinese consortium , due to commence within a year. Why the untypical secrecy?

Anya Sun 10-Apr-16 10:00:35

I didn't say the story is closed Jane confused

ExaltedWombat Sun 10-Apr-16 10:00:44

So where are the children being sent? Home for the rest of the year, or is provision being made?

I can see why the council don't want a meeting. It wouldn't be about constructive suggestions how to deploy the children, it would be a lot of shouting about today's politics and a quest for someone to blame.

Granny23 Sun 10-Apr-16 11:18:01

Try this link EW for a fairly full report:

www.heraldscotland.com/news/14417168.Scottish_councils_told_to_check_school_building_safety_after_shock_Edinburgh_closures/?ref=rss

It appears that only schools built by the PPP Consortium are at risk. There has been, historically, over capacity in the school estate in Edinburgh (I.E. they built more new schools than were needed - Why??) so many pupils can be absorbed into under used schools nearby. At this time of year many senior pupils will be starting study leave anyway, to prepare for their exams and I am sure that the Churches (there are 100s in Edinburgh) will offer their halls etc. but it remains a logistical nightmare.

meandashy Sun 10-Apr-16 12:04:17

Before Easter oxgangs kids were spread out across other schools and the P1s were in a community centre! In some cases the kids weren't allowed to mix with the host schools kids and the P1s were not able to access hot food or outdoor play. Those contingency plans clearly are not going to work for 19 schools and after the article I read today it will not be confined to edinburgh as this cowboy construction company have built public buildings all over the UK! We as parents and carers are very angry.

POGS Sun 10-Apr-16 12:06:21

Granny 23

I have a different take on the Queensferry Crossing/ Forth Replacement Crossing Project. My understanding is there were tenders by 2 construction consortiums . I am genuinely happy to be informed where I have mistaken the facts.

Consortium 1. FORTHSPAN
Balfour Beatty. UK
BAM Nuttal. UK
Morgan Est ( now Morgan Sindall) UK
Vinci. UK. (now MT Hojgaard )

Consortium 2. Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors
Dragados USA based
Hochtief. UK
American Bridge International. USA
Morrison Scotland.

The Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors consortium won the contract by the Scottish Government .

www.transport.gov.scot/road/forth-replacement-crossing/procurement.

Granny23 Sun 10-Apr-16 14:11:36

Sorry but I do not understand what point you are making POGS. Are you trying to suggest that there was some jiggery poker around the awarding of the contracts? Your link seems to confirm that everything was done according to the rules. Perhaps you know something that I don't?

MeggyMay Sun 10-Apr-16 14:58:47

It's very easy for folks who accept as gospel the extremely biased 'facts' broadcast by msm. The Scottish government has had, and still has a consistently negative media to contend with. No news credit given for progress and considerable achievements thus far.

annodomini Sun 10-Apr-16 15:20:54

The item I saw on TV about the new bridge, didn't say that NO British steel was used, but only a small percentage. This may explain the contract mentioned by POGS.

annodomini Sun 10-Apr-16 15:26:09

Further to my last post. I can see what POGS is getting at. However, the contract to which she refers is for the construction of the Bridge; this doesn't appear to include any agreement about where the steel for the contract is to be sourced. That must have been a separate contract.